PIPELINE POLITICS Wars About Oil, Not Democracy Compiled By Janet M Eaton

Posted on Monday, June 23 at 08:45 by Janet M Eaton

[1] Further to the Canadian Peace Alliance Press release of June 19.

"Pipeline politics have always been the real motive for the war in Afghanistan"
http://www.acp-cpa.ca/en/ PipelinePR.html
.... For years the peace movement has known that the real motives for the invasion of Afghanistan are geopolitical and are about western control of the energy resources of the region.
"The need to build the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline has always been the real motive for US and Western foreign policy towards Afghanistan.....Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien has been instrumental in signing deals between Canadian Oil and Gas corporations for pipeline construction projects in the area.  In September 2004, Jean Chrétien went to Turkmenistan to negotiate a  deal between Edmonton based Buried Hill Energy and the government of Turkmenistan to develop oil and gas resources the Caspian area. Chrétien also met with the president of Turkmenistan to discuss involvement of Canadian corporations in the Trans-Afghan pipeline. With more than 80 Canadian soldiers and thousands of Afghan civilians
dead in a war that is both wrong and a failure. The CPA calls on the government of Canada to respect the wishes of the majority of Canadians and bring the troops home now......

[2] "A PIPELINE THROUGH A TROUBLED LAND: AFGHANISTAN,
CANADA, AND THE NEW GREAT ENERGY GAME" by John Foster. June 19
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
http://www.policyal ternatives.ca/documents/National_
Office_Pubs/2008/A
_Pipeline_Through_a_Troubled_Land.pdf
A new report released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) raises serious questions about the impact of a proposed trans- Afghanistan natural gas pipeline on the role of
Canadian forces in that war-torn country.
* The proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline will transport approximately 33 billion cubic metres per year of natural gas. ...
* A Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement , signed by representatives of four participating nations on April 25, 2008, committed partners to initiating construction in 20008 supplying gas by 2015.
* ...the on-going conflict has contributed to construction delays. The estimated cost has doubled since 2002 to $7.6million
* US regional ambitions and rivalries with Russian and China include geopolitical manoeuvring for control of energy, into which Canada has been drawn.
* The impact of the TAPI pipeline on Canadian forces must be assessed, given that the proposed pipeline route traverses ..Kandahar province where Canadian forces are attempting to provide ecurity and defeat insurgents.
* Construction of the pipeline could provide important economic development opportunities to the region. But if the project proceeds without a peace agreement that will end the insurgency, the pipeline could exacerbate the ongoing conflict and take the Canadian forces away from other priorities to defend the pipeline.
* Fulfilling the recommendations of the Manley Panel's final report, the Canadian government should provide parliamentarians and the public with more information about the proposed TAPI pipeline and its impact on Canadian policy.

[3] These wars are about oil, not democracy. Toronto Sun June 22,
By ERIC MARGOLIS

" Four major western oil companies, Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP and Total are about to sign U.S.-brokered no-bid contracts to begin exploiting Iraq's oil fields... As former fed chairman Alan Greenspan recently admitted, the Iraq war was all about oil. The invasion was about
SUV's, not democracy.
"Afghanistan just signed a major deal to launch a long-planned, 1,680- km pipeline project expected to cost $8 billion. If completed, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline (TAPI) will export gas and later oil from the Caspian basin to Pakistan's coast where
tankers will transport it to the West - the planned pipeline must cross western Afghanistan, including the cities of Herat and Kandahar....
"Washington disguised its energy geopolitics by claiming the Afghan occupation was to fight "Islamic terrorism," liberate women, build schools and promote democracy. Ironically, the Soviets made exactly the same claims when they occupied Afghanistan from 1979-1989. The Iraq cover story was weapons of mass destruction and democracy.

Work will begin on the TAPI once Taliban forces are cleared from the pipeline route by U.S., Canadian and NATO forces. As American analyst Kevin Phillips writes, the U.S. military and its allies have become an "energy protection force."

fyi-janet

------------------------------------
  http://www.torontos un.com/News/Columnists/Margolis_
Eric/2008/06/22/pf -5953041.html>

June 22, 2008

These wars are about oil, not democracy

By ERIC MARGOLIS

PARIS -- The ugly truth behind the Iraq and Afghanistan wars finally has emerged.
Four major western oil companies, Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP and Total are about to sign U.S.-brokered no-bid contracts to begin exploiting Iraq's oil fields. Saddam Hussein had kicked these firms out three decades ago when he nationalized Iraq's oil industry. The U.S.-
installed Baghdad regime is welcoming them back.

Iraq is getting back the same oil companies that used to exploit it when it was a British colony.

As former fed chairman Alan Greenspan recently admitted, the Iraq war was all about oil. The invasion was about SUV's, not democracy.

Afghanistan just signed a major deal to launch a long-planned, 1,680- km pipeline project expected to cost $8 billion. If completed, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline (TAPI) will export gas and later oil from the Caspian basin to Pakistan's coast where tankers will transport it to the West.

The Caspian basin located under the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakkstan, holds an estimated 300 trillion cubic feet of gas and 100-200 billion barrels of oil.
Securing the world's last remaining known energy El Dorado is a strategic priority for the western powers.

But there are only two practical ways to get gas and oil out of land- locked Central Asia to the sea: Through Iran, or through Afghanistan to Pakistan. Iran is taboo for Washington. That leaves Pakistan, but to get there, the planned pipeline must cross western Afghanistan, including the cities of Herat and Kandahar.

PIPELINE DEAL

In 1998, the Afghan anti-Communist movement Taliban and a western oil consortium led by the U.S. firm Unocal signed a major pipeline deal.
Unocal lavished money and attention on the Taliban, flew a senior delegation to Texas, and hired a minor Afghan official, Hamid Karzai.

Enter Osama bin Laden. He advised the unworldly Taliban leaders to reject the U.S. deal and got them to accept a better offer from an Argentine consortium. Washington was furious and, according to some accounts, threatened the Taliban with war.

In early 2001, six or seven months before 9/11, Washington made the decision to invade Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban, and install a client regime that would build the energy pipelines. But Washington still kept sending money to the Taliban until four months before 9/11
in an effort to keep it "on side" for possible use in a war against China.

The 9/11 attacks, about which the Taliban knew nothing, supplied the pretext to invade Afghanistan. The initial U.S. operation had the legitimate objective of wiping out Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida. But after its 300 members fled to Pakistan, the U.S. stayed on, built bases -- which just happened to be adjacent to the planned pipeline route -- and installed former Unocal "consultant" Hamid Karzai as leader.

Washington disguised its energy geopolitics by claiming the Afghan occupation was to fight "Islamic terrorism," liberate women, build schools and promote democracy. Ironically, the Soviets made exactly the same claims when they occupied Afghanistan from 1979-1989. The Iraq cover story was weapons of mass destruction and democracy.

Work will begin on the TAPI once Taliban forces are cleared from the pipeline route by U.S., Canadian and NATO forces. As American analyst Kevin Phillips writes, the U.S. military and its allies have become an "energy protection force."

ADDED BENEFIT

>From Washington's viewpoint, the TAPI deal has the added benefit of scuttling another proposed pipeline project that would have delivered Iranian gas and oil to Pakistan and India.

India's energy needs are expected to triple over the next decade. Delhi, which has its own designs on Afghanistan, is cock-a-hoop over the new pipeline plan.

Russia, by contrast, is grumpy, having hoped to monopolize Central Asian energy exports.

Energy is more important than blood in our modern world. The U.S. is a great power with massive energy needs. Domination of oil is a pillar of America's world power. Let's be realistic. Afghanistan and Iraq are about oil, nothing else.

------------
See also

[4] Pipeline opens new front in Afghan war Canadian role in Kandahar may heat up as allies agree on U.S.-backed energy route through land-mine zones and Taliban hot spots SHAWN MCCARTHY
>From Thursday's Globe and Mail
June 19, 2008 at 2:30 AM EDT
http://www.theglobe andmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080619.
wafghanpipeline19/BNStory/specialComment

......Mr. Foster said the Canadian government has long ignored the broader geopolitical aspects of the Afghanistan deployment, even as NATO forces, including Canadian troops, could be called upon to defend the critical energy infrastructure.
"Government efforts to convince Canadians to stay in Afghanistan have been enormous," he says in a report prepared for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives... "But the impact of the proposed multibillion-dollar pipeline in areas of Afghanistan under Canadian purview has never been seriously debated.".....he said the security issues remain daunting and the Canadian military
could - wittingly or not - become embroiled in a "new great game" over energy security that is playing out in the region.
Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Emerson - who chairs the cabinet committee on Afghanistan - would not comment on the pipeline yesterday. When asked about the project earlier this spring, he said only that Canada wants to see Afghanistan develop a "legitimate and legal economy that can sustain a credible, viable state." ....

----------------

[5] Afghanistan's new front: natural gas
Globe and Mail Update
June 20, 2008 at 2:00 PM EDT
Questions from Shawn McCarthy, The Globe and Mail and readers
and Answers from John Foster
http://www.theglobe andmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080619.
wpipelinediscussion0619/BNStory/specialComment/home/?pageRequested= all

Mr. Foster, an international energy economist and an expert on the world oil scene, was online earlier today to discuss the Afghan pipeline and his report. Your questions and Mr. Foster's answers appear at the bottom of this page.
Mr. Foster, an energy economist, was born in London, England, and graduated from Cambridge University in economics and law. . He has 40 years of worldwide experience in energy and international development

Two Q&A Excerpts:

Jason Schmidt, Saskatoon: Are you sure about what you state in your report?
A lot of left-wing loonies have been arguing for years, including on the boards here at the G&M, that the whole Afghan mission was a cover to get a pipeline built and had little or nothing to do with 9/11. Your report plays right into their hands, you know.

John Foster: Jason, my report is solid. Check the endnotes. There are 82 of them, mostly hyperlinked.

There may be many reasons for the Afghan mission. The energy issue was not talked about here in Canada, although it was all over Asia and in think tanks in U.S.

I saw an untold story. That's why I wrote the report. There's pipeline politics involved. The U.S. wants to get some of Turkmenistan's gas going south through Afghanistan or west under the
Caspian (rather than via Russia or China).

It's the New Great Game in Central Asia - for control of access to resources and export routes. Official U.S. sources confirm this.

Catherine Wilkie posted this comment on Shawn's original article.Care to respond?

"It's hard not to feel very cynical about this. So many young lives lost. We certainly are tokens to our petroleum friends."

John Foster: Catherine, I think we need to debate these issues. Do we want our troops to protect pipelines? U.S. proposals at the NATO Summit in 2006 called for members to protect pipelines and sea lanes. No decision was made, but NATO continues to discuss energy security.
Where is the Canadian discussion? When have we had a chance to understand energy security, what it means etc.?
I too regret many young lives lost. I saw this myself at Suez in 1956. And I grew up in London during WWII.

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